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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Afghanistan”

Pakistan’s Terror Central

The tribal areas of Pakistan have been much in the news in the past decade and a half, following the US military intervention in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terror attacks. They were the “headquarters of terror”, with some of the most dreaded terror groups such as the Pakistan and Afghanistan Taliban, the al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network finding sanctuary in these areas and moving freely between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since 2014, Pakistan has launched at least two major operations — Zarb-e-Azb and the ongoing Radd-ul-Fasaad — to crack down on militant groups along Pakistan’s western border.

Read Here – The Indian Express

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Pakistan Could Have Over 100 Nuclear Weapons (And Could Kill Millions in A War)

Experts believe Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile is steadily growing. In 1998, the stockpile was estimated at five to twenty-five devices, depending on how much enriched uranium each bomb required. Today Pakistan is estimated to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 nuclear bombs.

Read Here – The National Interest

The United States And Pakistan: Best Frenemies Forever?

The United States is once again ratcheting up the pressure on Pakistan to fall in line with U.S. policy in Afghanistan by ending the Afghan Taliban’s enjoyment of safe haven. Unsurprisingly, Pakistan is once again pushing back. Amid the mistrust, mutual recrimination, and stale narratives that have increasingly characterised the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in recent years, there is one Pakistani talking point heard routinely from officials that should be taken at face value: Pakistan does not intend to fight the Afghan war on Pakistani soil.

Read Here – The National Interest

Trump’s Flawed Pakistan Policy

For Trump, it may feel good to vent his frustrations about Pakistan, especially now that his administration is desperate to salvage something from the United States’ prolonged and losing conflict in Afghanistan. These new sanctions, however, are unlikely to influence Pakistani behaviour, which is rooted in realities on the ground that the United States has little ability to change.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

General Bajwa In His Labyrinth

Hand in the Haqqanis or hang on to them? That is the dilemma before the Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, so aptly summed by a Pakistani columnist for the Dawn newspaper. In the face of unexpected and significant pressure from the United States to deliver some top militants of the Taliban and the Haqqani Network, the generals in Rawalpindi are locked in a serious debate.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Mapping A World From Hell

The Costs of War Project identifies no less than 76 countries, 39% of those on the planet, as involved in that global conflict.  That means places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya where U.S. drone or other air strikes are the norm and U.S. ground troops (often Special Operations forces) have been either directly or indirectly engaged in combat.  It also means countries where U.S. advisers are training local militaries or even militias in counter-terror tactics and those with bases crucial to this expanding set of conflicts.  As the map makes clear, these categories often overlap.

Read Here – TomDispatch.com

10 Conflicts To Watch In 2018

The most ominous threats in 2018 — nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula and a spiralling confrontation pitting the United States and its allies against Iran — could both be aggravated by Trump’s actions, inactions, and idiosyncrasies. U.S. demands (in the North Korean case, denuclearisation; in Iran’s, unilateral renegotiation of the nuclear deal or Tehran’s regional retreat) are unrealistic without serious diplomatic engagement or reciprocal concessions.

Read Here – International Crisis Group

Iran’s Chabahar Port Promise And The Nuclear Deal Threat

Iran has launched one of its major post-nuclear deal projects – the port of Chabahar – pushing further for engagement with the global community, days before the US Congress’ expected decision on whether Washington will pull out of the landmark international accord.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

Why Do These Wars Never End?

From the Punic Wars (264–146 b.c.) and the Hundred Years War (1337–1453) to the Arab–Israeli wars (1947–) and the so-called War on Terror (2001–), some wars never seem to end. The dilemma is raised frequently given America’s long wars (Vietnam 1955–75) that either ended badly (Iraq 2003–11) or in some ways never quite ended at all (Korea 1950–53 and 2017–?; Afghanistan 2001–). So what prevents strategic resolution?

Read Here – National Review

Despite Tillerson, US Won’t Abandon Pakistan For India

There is no new US policy towards Pakistan and there won’t be one soon. As long as the US has troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, it will be reliant on Pakistan for logistical support, transit, and—perhaps most importantly—Islamabad’s influence with both the Taliban and its affiliated Haqqani Network.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Also Read: Pakistan Stuck Between Afghan Rocks And Indian Hard Places

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